Big bucks in this!
Starbucks have arrived - only a few yards from Costa and making four coffee houses in Butter Market. The only surprise is they haven't come earlier. It's easy to see where there are good profit margins nowadays. Perhaps rivalled only by the profits on greetings cards?
University at last?
All of us with the long term interests of Ipswich at heart should have bated breath during January when big decisions will be made. The university will need the £15m of funding which the Higher Education Funding Council for England has been asked to provide. And the development of Suffolk College for its Further Education work will also depend upon a successful application to the Learning and Skills Council. IBC's Chief Executive, James Hehir, has rightly said, "This is the biggest ever single chance Ipswich has had to bring a university to town. It is going to have a huge impact on every sector of the community."
It's good to share
A Shared Space initiative is being proposed and will be discussed. The idea is to blur the boundary between roads and public spaces. It would lower some speed limits, remove curbs and encourage drivers to be responsible users of roads shared with cyclists and pedestrians. The scheme proposed for Alderman Road, Cullingham Road and Handford Road is the only one in the UK, so for many reasons it's essential to give it a fair trial and get it right. But Handford Road, one of the main ways into town from the A 12?
Complete at last
Congratulations to Ipswich Royal British Legion for their efforts and achievement in completing the war memorial in Christchurch Park. The 620 names of the Borough's Second World War dead have finally been added to the First World War names and the memorial has been refurbished. Better late than never. And it accords with the Museum's exhibition, Ipswich at War, and the 60th anniversary of the end of WW II.
It must be an improvement
On the north side of St Matthew's Street, between Berners Street and St George's Street, there is surely the ugliest bit of the town centre - worse than Carr Street Precinct. If you walk along that side of the road you don't see the ugliness above the shops, but visitors to the town (on a Park & Ride bus perhaps) must shudder. So new proposals for a hotel, flats and shops must be welcome in principle but will need a lot of tuning before being suitable for this prominent site. There are a few worthwhile shops there which deserve relocation. And we could miss the continuous canopy, a feature always welcome in a town when shopping in the rain.